Justice Did Not Happen This Day
If one calls for an action and during that protest people are arrested and have to go to court on their OWN, that is a person I will not hang with. I have been in both places, one where I had lots of support and the other I was just about on my own. I will not do actions with people who do not know what the rules are and a major one is you support people going to court. Anything short of that is screwed up and should not happen.
When one considers an action, all possibilities must be talked out and standing with people in court shows the 1% that we are not alone. I was taken aback as I looked around the federal courtroom how many people, who were just doing their jobs, were assisting the system as a man of honor was told that being on the steps of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and not leaving when ordered by a marshal or cop was going to cost him $225 and 40 hours of slave labor or as the 1% call it, community service. Cameron Whitten had to be punished and that was just about the max that this judge who sat on his trial could do under the law. This was a misdemeanor after all. The prosecutor had the audacity to say how much work they put into this case. Here is my reaction to this outrage!
Forty hours of Community Service is worth about $400 considering paying a person $10.00 an hour, add the $200 fine and the $25 processing fee and you get what the judge decided that Cameron must pay to end this madness. As a side issue but one that is important to me, there is a criminal, a real criminal, who sits on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he is Appellate Judge J. Bybee. The courthouse that Cameron had the audacity to step on is the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I know this because Individuals For Justice held a vigil for over 2 years every Thursday from high noon until 1-2 PM because Judge J. Bybee is an active member of this court and the Congress will not impeach him. He is a war criminal, just google him and torture.
Here is what bothers me about what happened to Cameron:
He was not represented by a lawyer
He decided to represent himself
There, at the very least, was a failure of the Lawyer's Guild to assist him.
The fine and community service was at the top of the sentencing scale.
All those who were involved with this case have no idea how much damage they did to Cameron, and the justice system. There was no justice on Thursday at 10:00 AM in the courtroom on the 11th floor.
There was only one person who showed up for the trial, or the end of the trial and that was me; a casual friend of Cameron, not one of his close friends.
I was outraged by everyone, the judge, the prosecutor and even the marshal who ordered me to move out of a chair because that is where the other marshal would be sitting. I am on oxygen, walk with a cane and moving is not something I do easily. The other marshal never showed up. As I watched what was going on before me, I became more and more angry at the system, the lack of support for Cameron and finally the sentence. I yelled at the prosecutors that justice was not done here today. It was a very bad day for me, but it was worse for Cameron; he would have to come up with the money and do the community service. Sorry but I was pissed! Cameron wants to appeal and that is something that may happen down the line, but it takes a long time to do appeals and I don't see this judge suspending the sentence pending an appeal and it will be difficult to find a lawyer who will do a lot of work--pro bono.
On our part, those who call for actions need to do better when people are arrested. That is what I am saying, you who could have showed up didn't. Those who have to work I understand you can't just take off, but those of you who knew about the trial could have gone for support--you need to learn this lesson, the process of protest only begins when you are walking in the streets, it ends when all who have been arrested know they are supported.